Complacency :: By Grant Phillips

I don’t believe I am incorrect in stating that every “professing” Christian today has the mindset that they are a true Christian even though nothing has changed in their lives. They believe that because somewhere down the line they mouthed a few words that Jesus is Lord or they believe in Jesus, or walked the aisle, or filled out a card, or joined a church, etc., etc. they are “okay,” even though nothing has ever changed in their lives in relationship to Jesus.

True belief in Jesus will produce a life that is honorable to Him. Perfect? No, but honorable. The Holy Spirit, who takes residence in the soul of the new believer, will see to it that he/she grows in the Lord. There will be fruit. There may be just enough fruit that only God can see, but there will be fruit.

On the other hand, some think they must produce fruit first in order to be saved. That is also false. Works do not save anyone. That would be a total contradiction to Ephesians 2:8-9.  However, once a person is saved, they are baptized with the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will produce fruit in the life of a true believer (see Galatians 5:22-26).

No person can be saved apart from God’s grace working through genuine faith in His Son. No works can be added by man. (Ephesians 2:8-9) The Bible is very clear on this. It is also just as clear that every true believer in Christ will grow in His grace. Some may grow much. Others may grow very little, but they will grow. They will be changed. No man can come to God in true belief and not be changed.

We live in a day when ignorance of God’s Word abounds from the pulpits to the pews. Ours is a day when the “feel-good, it’s all about me” gospel is proclaimed throughout the land. “Just say the magic words and hop on board to the soul train bound for Heaven.” “Live for the devil down here. Live for God up there.”

One of the most religious men of Jesus’ days on earth was Nicodemus, but Jesus told him he must be born again (John 3:3). He told Matthew, that thieving tax collector, to follow Him (Matthew 9:9). Jesus, in the Gospels and through the writings of Paul, Luke, John, Peter, James, and Jude made it very clear to those who will hear that being His disciple is more than a casual response.

No amount of religion will save a man (just ask the scribes and Pharisees, Matthew 23) and no depth of sin will keep a man or woman from Christ if he/she really wants to know Him as Savior and Lord (just ask the Samaritan woman, John 4:5-30 or the man from Gadara, Mark 5:1-13).

The Lord Jesus seeks to save all those who know they are not righteous and will follow Him.

“And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32)

The problem in these last days is that so many people are deceived in thinking they are not sick. They think they are righteous, simply because they say the magic words, “I’m a Christian.” They live no differently than Satan’s crowd and actually are fool enough to think that God must approve.

“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” (Revelation 3:17-18)

Read Luke 5:31-32 again. If you have never really repented and turned to Jesus, you are not one of His. Jesus wants all to think about “Who He is.” (Matthew 16:13) If you really believe, as Peter did, that He is “the Christ, the Son of God,” you have come at a crossroads in your life, and it is here you either believe in Him or you just shrug Him off.

Look, let’s say that I have actually met Glen Campbell, talked to him and shook his hand. Does that make me a groupie? Of course not, and this is the plight of many “professing” Christians today. Maybe they met Jesus at a church service. Just because they met Him doesn’t mean they are a groupie. Why? They will not follow Him. Many of those in the first century, when Jesus walked the earth in bodily form, did the same thing. They liked what He had to say. They liked the meals He prepared and the miracles performed, but they were not interested enough in Him to follow Him.

Go back to Luke 5:31-32 again. It says a lot. It says that works won’t save anyone. It says that you cannot be saved until you humble yourself before Him and admit you need Him and are willing to commit to Him.

You may notice that I have used several Scriptures from the Gospels. Now some dear soul is probably going to write me and say, “You can’t use those verses because they’re in the Old Testament era, before the cross and have nothing to do with the Church.”

If it is true they have nothing to do with the Church (and it is not true), then I suppose we had better never use John 3:16 to witness to the lost. Oh, and we had better never use John 14:1-4 for a Rapture reference. Why? Both of these Scripture passages are before the cross (pre-Church age). Since they actually part of the Old Testament, we’ll just ignore them. (I’m being facetious.)

How has our God always saved people? It has always been by faith in His Son. That includes from Adam to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses (Law), from Moses to Pentecost, and from Pentecost (Church) to today. It has always been by faith, real legitimate faith in Him working by His grace. If we don’t have that, what we have (if anything) is nothing. We don’t have the life-giving water of God, but instead just plain water that runs through our fingers and a thirst that can never be quenched.

The attitude of Laodicea reigns supreme today. Oh there are also plenty of Philadelphians (who will go up in the Rapture), but far too many who say they are Christians today think they are rich and have no need of a Physician. What does Jesus say about that?

He said via the apostle Paul, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Then He said via the apostle John, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Are you actually a Christian or are you just playing church? Who are you living for, you and your pleasures or Jesus Christ?

Grant Phillips

Email: grantphillips@windstream.net

Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com

Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html

 

Regrets :: By Grant Phillips

Who among us can say we have never had any regrets in our life? We all travel that road. If you disagree, maybe you are not being totally honest with yourself.

In my opinion, regrets primarily come from bad decisions we make throughout life and even from missed opportunities. Some regrets may be the result of sins in our lives and some may not, but they are there nonetheless. Some affect us deeply, and some do not.

Allow me to point out several examples and the possibility of eliminating the regrets that haunt us.

Your test score arrives and the result is clear you did not study. (Some of us have felt that regret.) So how did you fix it? You studied for the next test and your score reflected your effort. Didn’t the sun shine a lot brighter on that day?

You were warned by family and friends, but you married the “love of your life” anyway. Everything was peaches and cream for a while, but when the honeymoon was over, the person you couldn’t see arrived to make your life miserable. Is this regret fixable? Yes it is possible, but it will take a lot of work from both parties involved.

You bought a beautiful new red sports car, but after only a week it is clear that it should have been painted yellow. You have had it in the garage so many times you have lost count. Regret! Regret! Can you fix this? Yes, but it will cost you.

You regret that you did not finish school. Go back and finish. You regret that you never learned to play a musical instrument. Start now and learn. It won’t be easy, but these regrets can be turned into joy.

Most of the world today scoffs at any mention of the Rapture, but soon and maybe very soon, it will happen. Jesus Christ will come down from His Father’s house in Heaven and remove His bride (the true Church) from this earth. He will take all who know Him as Savior and Lord to Heaven while He pours out His judgment upon this earth for a period of seven years. Immediately after the Rapture occurs where will you be, on earth, or in Heaven? One will result in overwhelming joy, but the other a frightening regret.

You have died. You are in hell, awaiting judgment. This is the worse regret, by far, you have ever experienced. Can it be fixed? You know the answer. Your regret comes from knowing that if you had come to Jesus before you died and asked Him to save you, you would be with Him in Heaven instead of hell, waiting for Him to judge you. This regret will be an albatross around your neck for eternity.

When we are alive upon this earth, everyone will have regrets of some kind, believers and unbelievers, but a believer in Jesus Christ will go into eternity with no regrets … only everlasting joy.

While upon this earth, many regrets can somehow be reversed (some can never be reversed), but once an unbeliever dies, the regret of denying Jesus will never go away. It will be a constant reminder. Maybe you, as an unbeliever have made some terrible decisions while upon this earth, but the worse decision you will ever make is rejecting salvation through Jesus Christ.

Take a minute and consider the regrets in your life. Now don’t tell me you have none, we all have them. How do they make you feel? Is there a smile on your face that hides a broken life? If you could change anything in your life, would you?

Maybe society sees you as the most successful and blessed person of the century. On the other hand, maybe society sees you as the biggest failure who ever walked the earth. Depending on the cause of your regrets, some could be like a pebble in your shoe or a hungry bear on your back. Whichever it is, it doesn’t matter. You do have regrets, but will you have eternal regrets when your time is up on this earth?

Four of the promises Jesus gives us, from over 7,000, in the Bible are:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

“All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37)

To all believers Jesus promises:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:10-13)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

For those who are interested in spending eternity in Heaven with Jesus and being regret free forever, consider this. There is only one way, and that is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Hear Him as He speaks:

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” (Isaiah 55:1)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Grant Phillips

Email: grantphillips@windstream.net

Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com

Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html